Entrees, Garden, Gluten Free, Dairy free, Traditions, Vegetarian

Traditions and Love found in a Good Sauce…a friends tale.

The amazing flavors come thru from love stirred into the pot.

Here in Bend Oregon We have a foodie site online for local chefs, home cooks and true foodies to share recipes, restaurants and ideas. I came across a beautiful italian sauce recipe that was so intriguing and beautiful- you could just taste it from the pictures, how amazing it it must be. I had to know the secrets! To my surprised it was a friend of mine. Somebody who stole the heart of another dear friend and they recently married. What a tale of traditions, memories, and love- saved in a recipe. Her fathers family secrets of love in a sauce.

Meet Amber. When I reached out to her ( thinking she will never share the true secrets) she was excited to share her love for her father and Sicilian roots from the old country. “

A couple of people posing for the camera

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“My father was born and raised in Palermo, Sicily.   He taught me how to make all of our traditional meals when I was a child by putting me up on the counter when I was really tiny to watch him and then he let me help chop and stir as I got older. “

A person standing posing for the camera

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I can only imagine the love shared during those parent / child moments. It makes your heart long for a moment in time in that kitchen with child giggles and aromas filling the heart. A large wooden spoon to taste as you go along.

The sauce is made in a dutch over/crock part stove top and part in the oven. How simple. 

Fresh ingredients and roasted. Its a no sugar recipe with the secret to the beautiful golden red color- carrots! The roasted carrots add the sweetness and cut the acid. Devine! From Amber herself… enjoy with love.

Ingredients:

3 lbs of ripe tomatoes

 whole large head of garlic (remove skin and leave bulbs whole)

2 medium carrots (medium dice)

2 stalks of celery (with leaves if you have it!) (medium dice)

1 large Shallot (medium dice)

4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme (3-4 inches long – stems removed)

4-5 springs of fresh oregano (stems removed and finely chopped)

Large handful of fresh basil (stems removed and finely chopped)

2-3 Bay Leaves

1 tablespoon of sea salt

1 tablespoon of pepper

1/2 cup of freshly grated romano/parmesan

1/2 cup of high-quality EVOO

1/2 cup of dry red wine

1/2 cup of low sodium chicken stock

  • Cooking Directions:
  • Preheat Oven to 425 degrees
  • Place dutch oven on medium on the stove and add the 1/2 cup of EVOO. 
  • Add all of the fresh tomatoes and toss to coat in the EVOO. 
  • Add the salt to the tomatoes after they are coated and let the tomatoes simmer for about 4-5 minutes 
  • After the tomatoes have started to soften, add the carrots, celery, garlic, and shallots and toss to coat evenly.  As the tomatoes soften it will add liquids to the bottom of the pan (that’s normal). 
  • Let everything simmer for 2-3 minutes until the shallots become translucent.  Do not let the garlic burn on the bottom. 
  • Slowly add the red wine and chicken broth to the mixture.   It will “deglaze” the pan a bit so be sure to get the browned bits off the bottom of the pan.   
  • Add all of the herbs to the mixture.
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  • Let this mixture simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes and to reduce the liquid.   By the end of the time, the liquid should be just below the top of the tomato and vegetable mixture.  Top off with additional chicken broth if needed.
  • Place the dutch oven in the 425-degree oven uncovered for 30-35 minutes or until the tomatoes have burst and the carrots have roasted brown/caramelized edges.
  • Remove the dutch oven from the oven and return to the stove on low.   
  • Remove the bay leaves.
  • Use an immersion blender and blend the mixture until it is smooth.  (you can leave slightly chunky if you prefer.).  
  • Remove any tomato skins that have not broken down or strain the mixture.
  • Add the freshly grated cheese or if you have a block of parmesan you can submerge the whole block with the skin (yum!).
  • Let the mixture simmer for 10-20 minutes on low.
  • Serve as is, add proteins of your choice, or let the mixture cool for freezing/canning.
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Amber shared this makes amazing pizza sauce too.

Thank you Amber Carpenter for sharing❤️

Canning, Coctails, Condiments, Garden, Gluten Free, Dairy free, Vegetable, Vegetarian

Canning Time- Garlic

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Im always asking for request for ideas or open to questions, that if I don’t know the answer I sure and going to find out. Then I test the theory or should I say the recipe.  I love to can- I can’t say Im the expert due to me sticking to the items I really like and seem to stick with the same recipes. I find I make a lot of jam and fruit and of course salsa! I really love to can bread and butter pickles as well as my all time favorite ChowChow,  just like they do it back home in the Appalachia Hills. But this request for pickled garlic made me ponder and I had to do some research.  Here is my final product.   Cant taste it for 30 days…its curing and absorbing the flavors. But it came out pretty… so here are the steps I followed.

I started with a mess of fresh garlic heads. Elephant garlic is really large cloves but I found standard with good sized cloves for less shucking.  I call it shucking some call it peeling or cleaning the cloves From all skins, roots or blemishes. this takes time… I have seen devises that peel garlic or heard or using two Bowls.  Fresh garlic peels easily and I like the busy work, so I did mine by hand.  this recipe I used 8 regular heads of garlic and it jared 2 – 1/2 pint jars.  Im going to up the recipe for 4 jars but always have an extra on hand just in case…

 

 

After cleaning all the cloves and removing all blemishes you want to blanch in rolling boiling water 1 minutes and then strain and drop into an ice bath. Set aside and prepare your jars. Be sure to use distilled water- certain water can cause the garlic to turn blue.  Its still safe and tastes good but a bit strange in color,

I used Pickling spices already mixed.  Its easy, pretty and did I say easy.

  • Pickling spices McCormick sells a nice blend.
  • Bay leaves small
  • 1 Tablespoon Pickling salt
  • 6 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Bring vinegar, sugar, salt to an almost boil in a NON-REACTIVE POT and make sure the salt and sugar are Dissolved. Set aside to prepare jars.

Use five clean 1/2 pint jars.  I like to heat mine in the oven at 250 degrees. carefully line up jars on a heat safe towel and place 1 tsp spice in each jar with a small bay leaf. The smell is instant holiday spice with the cloves on the hot jar.  this also releases the aromatics.

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Drain Garlic from Ice bath and arrange in each jar leaving 1/2 Inch from top of jar.

Then pour the hot vinegar sugar mixture into each jar- just to 1/2 Inch of rim covering all garlic.  take a chop stick or wooden spoon to release any air tbubbles caught.  Seal with clean lid and ring.  Water bath jars covered low boil for 15 minutes.  These will take up to 24 hours to seal.  That wonderful “plink -plink” as they cool.

Don’t eat for 30 days to allow the garlic to fully absorb the flavors. Fantastic with a zesty Bloody Mary or straight out of the jar for a snack.  When consumed the brine is fabulous for dressings and cooking. Once jar is opened refrigerate. Shelf life 1 year sealed unsealed refrigerated 2 months.

Enjoy!